.. important questions to ask, and there are numerous reasons and causes for schools to increase the number of students they allow and the number of students wanting to attend these colleges. I have an older brother and an older sister who both attend a historically black college (HBCU), Central State University in Wlberforce, Ohio. I have always had a lifelong dream of attending an HBCU. In fact I was accepted to both Virginia Union in Richmond and North Carolina A&T in Greensboro before I was accepted into Wright State University.
My main reason for wanting to attend these schools was the history that they have and the way they made me feel when I went for visits. Those are my personal reasons for wanting to attend these schools, but there are more than personal reasons people are starting to have a higher interest in attending these schools. Lowery 2 For the past three years my church back home in Columbus has held an annual Black College Tour. It is designed to garner the interest of the young people at my church and all around Columbus in HBCU’s. I was a student the first year and a chaperone the last two. In visiting these schools one can find that the administration at these colleges and universities do anything they can to get you admitted to these schools.
Almost all of them are rated among the best schools in the nation, too. These are no small time schools. Some students are finding it easier to go to HBCU’s because of the recent Supreme Court rulings on Affirmative Action. They feel that it will be harder for them to have an equal chance of being accepted to non Black colleges and universities. Most of those people don’t want to put up with all the mess that goes on in those universities today, where even still, in 1997, people are admitted because of physical appearances and not mental capabilities (Straight Talk 122 123). Speaking in those terms people just do not want to deal with downright racism.
Some HBCU’s in areas with lots of non Black colleges usually have increased enrollment due to past histories and events that happened at the schools. An example was in Florida in 1988. Incidents of racism on the major White college campuses caused a 19 percent increase at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, another HBCU. It was recorded as the largest increase in enrollment of any of the colleges in the state. Of the 1,876 coeds in the system, 1,327 were enrolled at Florida A&M, while the other universities enrolled the rest (Racism 22).
Even now Florida A&M has increased enrollment at the school. They reported about 100 more freshman in this year’s class than last year’s (Geraghty A46). There are some students who are starting to attend HBCU’s because of their feeling of deprivation of black culture in their lives. In an article in The Lowery 3 Black Collegian last year, a young man, only referring to himself as The Invisible Man to readers, wrote to the editor about attending an HBCU after having gone to predominantly White schools all of his life. He chose to attend a Black school because, I felt very intimidated by my ignorance of Black history, culture, language, and everything else that I have missed in my previous education (qtd.
in Parker 21). After attending his first semester in school, Invisible Man found he was what he called a Cultural Zombie. He chose to stay at the school to educate himself about the culture that he was left in the cold by his family. He says his family is Black, but never emphasized being black and the culture that comes with it. One thing he say’s he has learned from his unnamed school is who he is and his role as an African American male (Parker 21). The one main cause for increased enrollment in HBCUs is the attention students get from people they feel understand them.
Most Black colleges have that hospitality factor that a person cant get on a bigger campus. Even the bigger Black universities recognize this helps students achieve better. Black students are beginning to realize that the students who attend these colleges display greater gains in academic achievement, higher rates of Bachelor’s Degree attainment, greater social integration, and higher occupational aspirations than those Black students who attend predominantly White institutions. Blacks at HBCUs report being accepted, encouraged, and engaged in all aspects of campus life, unlike Black students on White campuses, who report often feeling alienated and marginal (McDonough 10). An example of the hospitality factor I referred to earlier is from a tiny Black school in east Texas called Jarvis Christian School. In an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Pam Taylor, a senior at the school said, If Lowery 4 your discouraged and you don’t know if you can keep going your teachers are there to pick you up (Managan A8).
I’ve got spring fever bad right now, and I can call my teacher and shell talk me into getting to class. I can talk to her about anything schoolwork, men, anything, she continued (Managan A8). It does not happen just when you get there either. Administrators at Tennessee State and Florida A say that an important technique in keeping their enrollment numbers up has been to call students who have been admitted and talk to them about what the university has to offer (Geraghty A46). Even though HBCU’s represent less than 4 percent of all U.S.
colleges, they enroll 20 percent of all Black undergraduates and present about 33 percent of all African American Baccalaureate degrees. All of this despite predictions in the 1960’s that improved access at predominantly White schools would indicate the end of HBCU’s. Enrollments at these schools has been consistently up since 1976, and in the period between 1987 1991 alone, Black college enrollment rose about 10,000 students per year (McDonough 10 11). All of this goes to show that because of social, political, and economic causes in the world today, these figures are tiny compared to what’s projected to happen. And as more and more Black students become aware of what these colleges have to offer them, whether it be personal or financial, some of these predominantly White schools will be aching for Black students, from which we might see the beginning of a new trend, the plan to terminate or try to totally segregate Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
Lowery 5 Works Cited McDonough, Patricia M., Anthony Lising Antonio, James W. Trent. Black Students, Black Colleges: An African American College. Journal For a Just & Caring Education. January 1997: 9 36 Geraghty, Mary. On Campuses Coast to Coast, Trends In Freshman Enrollment Vary Widely This Fall.
The Chronicle of Higher Education. 20 October 1996: A46 Mangan, Katherine S. Turnabout at a College In East Texas. The Chronicle of Higher Education. 6 February 1996: A8 Parker, Linda Bates. Campus Advisor Helps Invisible Man.
Black Collegian. October 1996: 21 22 Straight Talk From the Top: Presidential Candidates Answer Tough Questions… Black Collegian. October 1996: 128 Racism on White Campuses Boosts Enrollment at FAMU. Jet.
21 November 1988: 22 Bibliography Works Cited McDonough, Patricia M., Anthony Lising Antonio, James W. Trent. Black Students, Black Colleges: An African American College. Journal For a Just & Caring Education. January 1997: 9 36 Geraghty, Mary.
On Campuses Coast to Coast, Trends In Freshman Enrollment Vary Widely This Fall. The Chronicle of Higher Education. 20 October 1996: A46 Mangan, Katherine S. Turnabout at a College In East Texas. The Chronicle of Higher Education.
6 February 1996: A8 Parker, Linda Bates. Campus Advisor Helps Invisible Man. Black Collegian. October 1996: 21 22 Straight Talk From the Top: Presidential Candidates Answer Tough Questions… Black Collegian. October 1996: 128 Racism on White Campuses Boosts Enrollment at FAMU. Jet.
21 November 1988: 22 Education.